Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 12781869
Cell. Signal. 2003 Aug;15(8):763-72
In guinea pig, primate and man, nitric oxide (NO)-induced regulation of myometrial smooth muscle contraction is distinct from other smooth muscles because cyclic guanosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP) accumulation is neither necessary nor sufficient to relax the tissue. To further our understanding of the mechanism of action of NO in myometrium, we employed the NO donors, S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP), and 3-morpholinosyndonimine (SIN-1) proposed to relax airway smooth muscle by disparate mechanisms involving elevation in intracellular calcium ([Ca(2+)](i)) or cGMP accumulation, respectively. Treatment of guinea pig myometrial smooth muscle with either NO donor at concentrations thought to produce maximal relaxation of smooth muscles resulted in significant elevations in cGMP that were accompanied by phosphorylation of the cGMP-dependent protein kinase substrate vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP), shown here for the first time to be present and phosphorylated in myometrium. Stimulation of myometrial strips with oxytocin (OT, 1 microM) produced an immediate increase in contractile force that persisted in the continued presence of the agonist. Addition of SNAP (100 microM) in the presence of OT relaxed the tissue completely as might be expected of an NO donor. SIN-1 failed to relax the myometrium at any concentration tested up to 300 microM. In Fura-2 loaded myometrial cells prepared from guinea pig, addition of SNAP (100 microM) in the absence of other agonists caused a significant, reproducible elevation of intracellular calcium while SIN-1 employed under the same conditions did not. Our data further support the notion that NO action in myometrium is distinct from that in other smooth muscles and underscores the possibility that discrete regional changes in [Ca(2+)](i), rather than cGMP, signal NO-induced relaxation of the muscle.